National Solid Wastes Management Association Issues White Paper on Greenhouse Gases

Date: April 18, 2006

Source: Press Release

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) today announced that its white paper, "Municipal Solid Waste Industry Reduces Greenhouse Gases through Technical Innovation and Operational Improvements," is now available.

"We are especially pleased and excited to showcase the industry's commitment to reducing greenhouse gases in celebration of the 36th anniversary of Earth Day," said Bruce Parker, NSWMA's President and CEO.

The municipal solid waste (MSW) industry has made great strides in reducing its impacts on the environment by reducing the release of greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause global warming. NSWMA's newest white paper summarizes the significant progress the industry has made in reducing GHG emissions since 1970 and describes the future efforts and initiatives that will extend the success story even further.

Parker said, "The private MSW management industry plays an essential role in protecting our nation's environment and public health. MSW management activities are an important, but relatively small source of total GHG emissions - in 2003 amounting to about one-tenth of one percent of the total U.S. GHG emissions."

The paper explains that the actual, net GHG gas emissions from all MSW activities declined from about 60.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MMTCO2E) in 1970 to 7.8 MMTCO2E in 2003. This happened even as MSW disposal volumes in the U.S. grew from 121 million tons per year in 1970 to 236 million tons per year in 2003.

"If the MSW industry had not changed or improved the technologies it used in 1970, net GHG emissions would have been 124.5 MMTCO2E," said Ed Repa, NSWMA's Director, Environmental Programs, and landfill expert. He added, "The use of improved MSW management practices avoided the release of some 116.7 MMTCO2E. We will continue to find new ways to reduce GHG emissions like the use of bioreactor landfills, the increased use of alternative fueled vehicles, and the development of voluntary programs to collect GHGs."

A copy of the paper is available on NSWMA's Internet site at or by contacting the NSWMA Public Affairs Department at 800-424-2869 or

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin